Lately Nookie has been really into stop-motion animation. We watched the film The Boxtrolls and at the end of it is a little extra footage of the clay characters being manipulated by a person, at super-speed. Nookie wanted to know what it was, so we discussed stop-motion animation, how it’s done, and then I found an app for my phone that lets you take a series of photographs and puts them together into your own animation. After weeks of playing about with it Nookie has made dozens of short, seconds-long animations of various toys moving around, foods gradually being eaten, etc (I take the pictures, she moves the characters). She loves it.
Her other current passion is Creepypastas. She discovered the characters Slenderman, Jeff the Killer and Ticci Toby through various YouTube videos, and then we did a bit of research and found the original short stories (Creepypastas) that they came from. She loved the very macabre stories, and has also had fun painting her face and mine to look like Jeff the Killer and Slenderman.
Here’s what else we’ve been doing over the last week or so:
* Reading her favourite Dirty Bertie stories over and over again.
* Watching people playing various computer games on YouTube (Octodad, Happy Wheels, Minecraft, etc).
* Watching videos of pranks of YouTube, including Jackass and SA Wardega.
* Making biscuits, cutting the dough into various shapes and decorating them using food colouring pens.
* Making stop-motion animation videos using playmobil and play doh.
* Playing Horrid Henry with various toys taking the place of the characters in the cartoon.
* Playing Hide and Seek.
* Painting her face and mine like Jeff the Killer and Slenderman.
* Watching Slenderman videos.
* Reading Creepypastas together.
* Playing Happy Wheels, Sonic the Hedgehog, Temple Run 2, and Plants vs Zombies.
* Painting pictures, and decorating them with glitter.
* We downloaded Minecraft for the X-box 360, and she has been doing really well at learning to use the control pad. We’ve experimented with redstone and learned about how switches and electric circuits work.
* Watching Stampylongnose Minecraft videos on YouTube.
* Watching lots of films including The Boxtrolls, Scooby Doo movies, The Book of Life, Frankenweenie, Wreck it Ralph.
* Watching Sanjay and Craig and Spongebob Squarepants.
* Helping me take care of her baby sister. We’ve had lots of discussions about how babies grow and develop.
* Drawing pictures of stick men and various other things, then animating them using an app on the tablet.
* Making up stories for me to draw.
* Making her own books by sticking in stickers and getting me to illustrate the rest of the story and write down what the characters are saying.
* We discussed the concept of pocket money, and Nookie negotiated an amount of money and what day she would be paid it on. Then we counted out the decided amount of money, and talked about how much that would buy her. Then she decided to spend it on eBay, so I opened the app for her and let her choose something to spend the money on. We discussed the concept of bidding on something, but not necessarily winning it. (She did win the item and was very pleased with her purchase when it arrived in the post. She’s already trying to decide what to spend her next lot of pocket money on).
* We’ve done lots of looking at the clock and discussing what the time is. She seems very interested in learning to tell the time at the moment, so I bought her a giant poster with a dry-marker, bare clock face to draw the clock times on, which we have used.
* We’ve discussed what lots of different words say, and she’s constantly asking me how to spell various words. She’s also learning how to read big numbers through playing the game Temple Run 2 – each time she gets a score she lists the numbers and asks me what those numbers make (e.g. 155,500 – what that number is).
* Playing with Lego to build a spaceship.
* Building her very first snow man when it snowed.
* By herself she discovered Crafty Carol on Cool School, on YouTube, and after watching her make a few crafts we went and made a snow globe and an “under-the-sea” bottle.